“We Like to Write No-Brainers from the Heart,” and Other Quotable Gems: Anti Ritual Interviewed

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, interviews On: Thursday, May 15th, 2014

deciblog - ANTI-RITUAL_Band

With 17 billion bands, labels and PR people all clamouring for a piece of the attention pie, it sometimes gets to the point where you want to grab a small stack of classics and go stick your head in the proverbial sand of that deserted desert island people claim to be listening to their favourite albums while stranded on. But there’s always good and great out there, you just have to take the time to find it, even if it involves utilising an oddball method or really dumb reason. Like how I came to discover, and subsequently become a fan of, Denmark’s Anti Ritual. Jacob at Indisciplinarian Records sent me a heads-up on the band, I took one look at their logo and thought, “This is either going to be awesomely terrible or terribly awesome!” Turns out the band’s brand of blackened crusty sludge (the description of which sounds like something you would otherwise be on the horn to Roto-Rooter about) of their self-titled, debut EP is pretty top notch, so I tracked down vocalist Marco Malcorps and broke bread and conversation with him over email.

Ok, tell us about the history of Anti Ritual. Your bio says the band’s members all have roots and experience in the Copenhagen hardcore scene: how so and with whom? Shed some light on the situation for those of us who’ve never been anywhere near Copenhagen, ever.
The other three guys have known each other for some years now playing in different bands together. Recent projects for the band members are Rising, The Kandidate, Saturnus and Parasight and I played crust and powerviolence in bands such as Shitcomet and Ukrudt. We’ve all been around in the Copenhagen scene for a good while. The punk/hardcore scene has been good for years and the metal scene is getting quite on its way too. I guess we’re a good mixture of both.

You guys mix a good number of extreme sub-genres in the creation of your own sound. When Anti Ritual formed, was there a specific direction in sound you wanted to head in? How did Anti Ritual end up as Anti Ritual?
A common denominator for the four of us is passion. We’re playing this music because not playing it doesn’t seem like an option. This project has elements of genres that we’ve all touched upon before, but to my knowledge, it’s the first time we’re involved in something that mixes all these things together. That, however, is not the point. We’re not trying to cram every style we haven’t gone all the way into into one band. If that was the case, you could expect our next record to be a calypso/neo-folk/Motown/goregrind pile of absolute ass. Our sound is more the result of what happens when our collective creative input is pooled. It fits our various tempers and ambitions to play this blistering bastard of hardcore, black metal and sludge. There is simply no other way our music could sound.

Has exploring and incorporating other sub-genres of music thrown up any stumbling blocks while writing songs, especially when experimenting with styles you may be fans of, but have less experience actually playing?
No, not at all. The songs just came out of a need to do something like this, the basic structures and the overall feel and style of the songs poured out very quickly. We like to write no-brainers from the heart without having to construct things too much. If it works, we keep on pounding it – if not, on we go.

Your lyrics have been described as “harsh critiques of the structures of modern society.” What are you critiquing and what moves you the most to the point you’d write a song about it?
What moves me the most to write a song is my heartfelt anger. I know it sounds like a cliché, but what drives me to pen our lyrics is the feeling of wanting to lay waste to my surroundings. An example: Last week a cop here attacked a man in a wheelchair because he was yelling at him. The cop took a man who is paralyzed from the waist down and threw him onto the ground and proceeded to leave him there, full well knowing that the man was unable to get up by himself. Stuff like that makes me burn with rage, and so, instead of wandering into the street and savagely stabbing the first cop I come across, I can let out some of that rage by channeling it into lyrics (hint: an Anti Ritual song about police brutality and the privilege of power is in the works). On the other hand, I think some of my teenage heroes, Satanic Surfers, said it really good: “I could write a thousand songs about my anger but it wouldn’t change a thing in this world. I know that for a fact but it makes me feel a whole lot better, that’s why I do this in the first place”. I’m not trying to start a revolution here. I’m just trying not to lose my shit and go on a murderous rampage.

What can you tell us about the recording of the EP? How long did it take? Where did you do it? Did anyone spill coffee on the recording console?
We recorded most of the record over the course of a few days in our rehearsal space with ourselves producing. KB, our bass player, has it set up as a studio and he’s real good with this kind of stuff. He records for shitloads of bands out there. We didn’t spill any coffee. We did however consume vast amounts of it (we’re not in our 20’ies anymore so we’re running on caffeine, sugar and pure unfiltered hatred).

(the infamous logo in question)
deciblog - ANTI-RITUAL_cover

When you decided to create the band’s logo, what happened: did someone go on a Etch-a-Sketch bender?
We went over a couple of different options, but in the end our drummer Niko, who works as a graphic designer when not pounding drums, had an idea that he wanted to try out. So he did and voila. As for whether or not the process involved an Etch-a-Sketch, I don’t know. I do know however that it involved the sacrifice of a horde of well-fed venture capitalists to our lord who slumbers in his house in R’lyeh. And coffee. Always the coffee.

There doesn’t seem to be much of an Anti Ritual presence online. I thought I was the last remaining Facebook hold-out in the western world; so I can respect that, but I’m not trying to promote a band (or stalk ex-girlfriends or track down all the losers I went to high school with). Is your lack of web presence a deliberate thing?
Yes, it’s deliberate. Though social media has made a lot of things much easier for bands on the rise, it can also sometime become just another menial task to be dealt with. “Sooner or later, the things you own end up owning you” as Palahniuk puts it. Having to constantly maintain a profile on, say, Facebook is simply a task that we didn’t think was worth our time. This is, as I said, at project born of passion (as a band should be) and as such we felt it was a good idea to focus simply on that.

Once the EP is out, what’s the plan? Is there a plan? Is there a full-length in the works?
Well, when we formed the band the only plan was to write some songs, record a record and see what would happen. Through the process though, the whole project kind of grew on us. As such, when the recording process was finished, we kind of agreed that this was not to be the last the world would hear of us. However, most of us have other musical projects to attend to as well so as for when/what and all that, nothing is sure right now. Personally, I can name a few bands that I’d like to do a split 7″ with in the near future, but whether or not that happens, remains to be seen.

Interested? Check ‘em out and/or buy Anti Ritual here.

Soul Survivors: Saint Vitus play Born Too Late in its entirety

By: j.bennett Posted in: featured, live reviews On: Thursday, May 15th, 2014

vitus

Saint Vitus @ The Echoplex, Los Angeles, May 13, 2014

“This is a lot different for us than it was in L.A. 35 years ago.” So says Saint Vitus guitarist and mastermind Dave Chandler from the stage at the Echoplex, where several hundred headbangers, burnouts and biker types have gathered to suck on Bud tallboys and bask in the stoned glory of Vitus’ 35th anniversary and full performance of their stone-cold 1986 doom classic, Born Too Late.

Presumably, Chandler is referring to the fact that hardly anyone here in the band’s hometown gave a flying fuck about Saint Vitus back in the ’80s, when they were the misfit metal band on SST and dismissed as retrograde dinosaurs by pretty much everyone except certain members of Black Flag and the Mentors. But for all the alleged musical crimes Saint Vitus have been accused of since forming three and a half decades ago—being too slow (then), too old (now) or too wasted (then and now)—few seemed to grasp the band’s essence. Much more than mere Sabbath worshippers or even rightful heirs to the Sabbathian throne, Vitus are the thing they never get credit for being: the heaviest soul band alive. Their not-so-secret weapon, then as now, is Scott “Wino” Weinrich, the D.C.-bred crank enthusiast, guitar slayer (though he only briefly put this talent to use in Vitus) and seething tattooed soul singer who replaced original Vitus vocalist Scott Reagers in 1985.

That soul is both inherent and enhanced through years of struggle. And that’s because Vitus never left the street. Sabbath became full-blown rock stars within three years of forming, maybe less. By the time Paranoid was out, they were already bigger than Vitus ever got.  And money-wise? Forget it: The Drab Four recorded their fourth album in a Bel Air mansion surrounded by Scarface-sized piles of cocaine. Vitus recorded their fourth, Mournful Cries, in three days at some dump in Hollywood called, appropriately, the Music Grinder. The chances are excellent that they were wide awake on speed the entire time.

 vitus2

Speaking of speed: The nice thing about watching bands that play slow is that you can stand right up front without having to worry about getting spin-kicked in the shoulder blades by some over-enthusiastic waterhead. So we roll straight up to the barrier as Chandler, Wino, bassist Mark Adams and drummer Henry Vasquez kick off with back-to-back face-rulers “Living Backwards” and “I Bleed Black” from 1990’s V before easing into the Reagers-era anthem “War Is Our Destiny” and “Blessed Night” from 2012’s Lillie: F-65.  At the end of “The Troll,” Chandler leans forward to give the audience ye olde invisible orange. And the bug eyes. And the wah-wah on full fucking blast. But no chords or notes or anything like that. Who needs that shit when you’ve got feedback and bug eyes and invisible fruit?  Not us.

The Born Too Late segment of the show begins with the droning death chant of “The War Starter” and proceeds in no particular order.  After wailing through the bass-driven slow=burner “The Lost Feeling,” Chandler advises the crowd:  “Don’t dial 976-WINO. It’s not a good time.”

Wino replies with zero beats missed: “News to me.”

It sounds almost scripted, like an old Honeymooners routine, except that Wino seems genuinely surprised when Chandler says it. But there’s little time to reflect: It’s officially time to saw off the monstrous acid paean “Clear Windowpane” and easily a third of the crowd starts singing along. Which, in Los Angeles, is about as common as stumbling across two unicorns fucking in an alley.

Toward the end of the set, Wino asks the audience what we want to hear. Someone yells for “Thirsty and Miserable,” the Flag song Vitus covered back in ’87. “Cool,” Wino says, flashing a wry smile. “We’re definitely not gonna play that one.”

They close with “Born Too Late,” obviously. It’s got more soul than just about anything you’d care to mention.

Stream New Nader Sadek Video!

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, listen, videos On: Thursday, May 15th, 2014

NSadek VidPic

It’s been three years, almost to the day, since Nader Sadek and an all-star cast of death metal notables released In the Flesh, a just-about-out-of-nowhere titan of an album that exorcised its creator’s disgust with the Western petrol-centric economy and culture and the way it abuses life on Earth, both past and present.

Last year, Sadek released both a DVD and CD recording of the album played in its entirety in New York, called Living Flesh.  The songs sounded reinvigorated, electrified by a new setting and added musicians.

In yet another incarnation, Sadek’s metal manifestation has re-recorded “Mechanic Idolatry”, now billed as “Re:Mechanic” in the style introduced on Living Flesh.  This time, the project includes Travis Ryan (Cattle Decapitation), Mike Hrubovcak (Monstrosity), Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy), Rune Eriksen (Mayhem, Aura Noir), Orestis Nalmpantis (underground Greek band Genna Apo Kolo) and Kelly Conlon (Death, Monstrosity).

Today, the Deciblog brings you the video for “Re:Mechanic” with all the brutal faux-drumming, jittery jump cuts and goopy-gloppy closeups you could possibly hope for.  The official statement to accompany the video goes like this:

In the final video of “In The Flesh,” the curse of petroleum traps faceless protagonists in a vicious cycle of dismemberment and rebirth. Breaking down body parts and reappropriating them into engine parts, the infernal Machine accumulates those parts in order to extend and intensify this process. Caught in this loop, the song functions as a ritual that links the divine skies with the underground, an ancient past with the cradle of damnation.

Sadek states: “For the final video, it was important for me to shoot at the ancient Crystal Altar in Egypt, cutting it with footage from the New York City underground. Conceptually, I wanted to broaden the scope and scale of the project, and to reaffirm the global afflictions caused by our petro worship. In a sense, the underground has risen and the surface has sunk, and with this video and the album “In the Flesh,” listeners get snared in the protagonist’s nonlinear time loop: manufactured, dismembered, and released into the vacant desert, his prayer for survival is denied as he is consumed by the unending circle of death.”

Sadek continues: “In The Flesh” and the more music-based projects prior to it were exactly that, projects. Nader Sadek was never a band or band name for that matter. The projects continue to grow and change, and it’s become very interesting to hear different artists reinterpret the material. Three years after its original inception, this song (“Re:Mechanic”) needed some new personality, and I think the re-recording with Travis Ryan, Mike Hrubovac, Tim Rocheny, Orestis Nalmpantis and Kelly Conlon with a superb intro by Martin Rygiel, has given it more strength and power. Personally, I think the new version is refreshing. The “Re:Mechanic” re-fix peaks with this video, and I’m honored that Decibel and Terrorizer are premiering it together!

We are, in fact, putting together a band, and of course it will not bear my name as band name. More on that very soon. For now, I am very excited to take the project on the road for a Canadian and European tour. Thank you to all who have followed it so far.

Tour, you say?  When and where?  Here’s the list:

20.05.2014 Le Petit Campus, Montreal (CA)
23.05.2014 Traffic, ROME (IT)
24.05.2014 Cycle Club, Calenzano, FLORENCE (IT)
25.05.2014 Circolo Colony, BRESCIARA (IT)
26.05.2014 Sunset Bar, MARTIGNY (CH)
27.05.2014 Le Klub, Paris, (FR)

Music:

Travis Ryan : Main vocals, Flo Mounier : Drums, Mike Hrubovac:  Vocals, Tim Rocheny: Backing vocals, Orestis Nalmpantis: Leads, Rune Eriksen:Guitars, Kelly Conlon: Bass

Original Song by Steve Tucker and Mike Lerner, with Rune Eriksen; Lyrics Re-written by Nader Sadek; Intro by Martin Rygiel, Nader Sadek, Casey Smith; Mixed/Mastered: Casey Smith

Video: Directed by Nader Sadek

featuring:

Bassist: Novy Nowak, Guitarist: Rune Eriksen, Drummer: Flo Mounier, Singer :Novy Nowak/Guy whitney, Desert Druid: Nader Sadek,

CG/FX : Matt Foglia, Artur Elson, CHAWKI RODESLY

Shot by:  Andrew Strasser, Karim El Hakim, Nader Sadek, Black out Studios ( Tarek Hosni)

Egypt Crew:  Amy el Sabahy, Mohamed Adel, Sandrine Pelletier

US CREW:  Abraham Gautier, Henning Koczy

Original Song by Steve Tucker and Mike Lerner, with Rune Eriksen

Lyrics Re-written by Nader Sadek

Decibrity Playlist: Eyehategod (Part 2)

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, lists On: Thursday, May 15th, 2014

EHG-HIGH-RES-e13945668495481

In celebration of Eyehategod‘s first full-length studio album in nearly a decade and a half, last week we shared five musical selections that frontman (and soon to be cover star) Mike IX Williams’ listens to on his “stupid iPod in the filthy tour van.” As promised, here are the rest of his eclectic picks which, given the NOLA quintet’s upcoming itinerary, you’ll probably hear blasting from said van in a town near you very soon. Pre-order a copy of Eyehategod, which drops May 27th, here.

Devo–Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (1978) and Duty Now For The Future (1979)
Groundbreakers forever. These two albums changed my life and made me realize that music could be made outside the box, and in fact the box in question could be devolutionized and destroyed completely.

Dr. John–Gris-Gris (1968)
New Awlin’s finest; absolute perfection of the NOLA vibe, heart and soul. One of the most creeped out voodoo records ever. Ya boy’s known as the Night Tripper for a reason…

The Damned–Machine Gun Etiquette (1979)
One of Lemmy’s early collaborations was with the UK’s The Damned. This record is not so much of a basic punk LP than it is a basic punk LP with insanely incredible songcrafting.

Laughing Hyenas–You Can’t Pray A Lie (1989)
John Brannon’s voice has been echoing around in my head since his first band Negative Approach and more recently with his band Easy Action. Laughing Hyenas will occupy a permanent place in my brain until the end of days.

Fuck-Ups–FU82 7″ (1982)
Fearless Iranians From Hell–Fearless Iranians From Hell 7″ (1986)

Doing really dangerous drugs to these two 7″s has been a hobby of mine for years. Negative punk with violent messed up lyrics.

*Pre-order a copy of Eyehategod here and be sure to catch Williams and company on the following dates:

5/28/2014 Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
5/29/2014 Drunk Horse – Fayetteville, NC
5/30/2014 Chop Shop – Charlotte NC
5/31/2014 611 – Frederick, MD
6/01/2014 Underground Arts – Philadelphia, PA
6/02/2014 Rex Theater – Pittsburgh, PA
6/03/2014 Strange Matter – Richmond, VA
6/04/2014 American Legion Post 80 – Binghamton, NY
6/05/2014 Brighton Music Hall – Boston, MA
6/06/2014 Even Flow – Long Island, NY
6/07/2014 Europa – Brooklyn, NY
6/08/2014 Basement Transmissions – Erie, PA
6/09/2014 Bug Jar – Rochester, NY
6/10/2014 Loving Touch – Detroit, MI
6/11/2014 Now That’s Class – Cleveland, OH
6/12/2014 Birdy’s – Indianapolis, IN
6/13/2014 Cobra Lounge – Chicago, IL
6/14/2014 Pyramid Scheme – Grand Rapids, MI
6/15/2014 Bottom End Bar – Appleton, WI
6/16/2014 Triple Rock – Minneapolis, MN
6/17/2014 Diamond Pub – Louisville, KY
6/18/2014 Fubar – St. Louis, MO
6/19/2014 Hi Tone – Memphis, TN
6/20/2014 Southport – New Orleans, LA
6/21/2014 Dollhouse – Savannah, GA
6/22/2014 Orpheum – Tampa, FL
6/23/2014 Looseys – Gainesville, FL
6/24/2014 Zydeco – Birmingham, AL
6/25/2014 The Handlebar – Pensacola, FL

**Past Decibrity entries include:

Floor
Iron Reagan
Fight Amp
Cynic
Melt-Banana
Junius (Part 1) (Part 2)
Alcest
East Of The Wall
Enabler
Wolvserpent
Drugs Of Faith
SubRosa (Part 1) (Part 2)
Vattnet Viskar
Skeletonwitch
Ihsahn
Earthless
Watain
Orange Goblin
God Is An Astronaut
Primitive Man
Gorguts
Exhumed
Ulcerate
Pelican
Scale The Summit
Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Mouth Of The Architect
Howl
Kings Destroy
Zozobra
Call of the Void
Saint Vitus Bar
Coliseum
Woe
Anciients
Soilwork (Dirk Verbeuren) (Björn Strid)
Intronaut
BATILLUS
Inter Arma
Helen Money
Misery Index
Ancient VVisdom
Holy Grail
Rotten Sound
Ancestors (Part 1) (Part 2)
Kowloon Walled City (Part 1) (Part 2)
Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Early Graves
All That Remains
Bison B.C.
A Life Once Lost
Fight Amp
Witchcraft (Ola Henriksson) (Magnus Pelander)
Vision of Disorder
Grave
Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Rush (Part 1) (Part 2)
Dawnbringer
Ufomammut
Shadows Fall
Horseback
Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Torche
“Best of” Meshuggah
Astra
Pallbearer
Barren Earth
Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)

Inside The Shredder’s Studio #11: Eric Cutler of Autopsy

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, lists On: Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Autopsy-9

Sometimes we finally get a guest we’ve wanted to host forever. We are extremely lucky today to welcome one of the forefathers of death metal to the studio: Eric Cutler of the mighty Autopsy! Eric is still shredding away — you can check out his new work on Torniquets Hacksaws & Graves. Please welcome Eric Cutler to the shredder’s studio.

Greetings from Eric Cutler! Here are some of the riffs that guided my path to playing guitar and metal. I could pick a different group every day, but here are some that stick.

As a kid I was always drawn to the guitar. I just loved the sound of the instrument. I would listen to my older brother’s music: The Beatles and Kiss. The first records I bought were Black Sabbath’s Master Of Reality and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. I took them home on the same day and was crushed by the heaviness!

Black Sabbath “Under the Sun/Every Day Comes and Goes” from Vol. 4:

So damn heavy, this opening riff. It taught the world how to play metal. The song has so many sick Tony Iommi riffs. The changes, bridges and solos take you for a ride of doom and sorrow. It’s funny how Ozzy can go from sad to happy to sad so quickly. Iommi is king of the metal riff!

Michael Schenker Group “Attack of the Mad Axeman” from MSG:

Like Black Sabbath, I could put any number of Schenker songs here, from UFO to his solo work. He’s a great guitarist and one of my favorites from early on: rock n’ roll riffing at its best with insane solos. The notes he plays on the neck are signature to his sound.

Mercyful Fate “A Dangerous Meeting” from Don’t Break the Oath:

Sherman and Denner. What a duo! Great tones with sinister riffing. The solos are melodic but grief ridden. Another combo I would have loved to see more from.


Motorhead “Ironhorse/Born to Lose” from On Parole:

A big influence and still one of my favorite bands. This version of the band has Larry Wallis on guitar, before Fast Eddie Clarke joined. It has a different feel; even Lemmy sings a little softer. His vocals are reminiscent of his time in Hawkwind. One of the few bands that are rock n’ roll and metal. Everything louder than everything else!

Iron Maiden “Prowler” from Iron Maiden:

When I first heard Iron Maiden I was wrecked. I thought that this was as good as it will ever get. I chose “Prowler” because it opens their debut and just slays! Their best record was Killers but this one is right there, too. I would have loved to hear a few more records with this lineup.

Trouble “The Tempter” from Psalm 9:

Listening to this sculpted my death metal writing. It made want to incorporate doom. It is so heavy and the guitars sound like a symphony of death. The first two records will always be in my favorites.

Judas Priest “The Ripper” from Unleashed In The East:

Like my good friend Alex Bouks, this is my favorite record by this great band. The whole record kills. I love the speed of the songs, which are slower on the studio recordings.

Genesis “The Return of the Giant Hogweed” from Nursery Cryme:

Steve Hacket was very underrated. He has such an original style, and some of his riffing is so heavy. This song opens up with complete madness and goes into a crushing riff.



The Rolling Stones “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”:

This is rock n’ roll. This is whiskey, smoke, good times! I always wanted to be like Keith: hammered, writing killer stuff, and bulletproof! This is the gateway band for me, made me push further. It’s all good but the smack, stay off smack!

Ozzy Osbourne (with Randy Rhoads): “Diary of a Madman”:

I couldn’t believe how good Randy was. Just a step ahead of everyone else. Diary has such a dark sound it, you can hear the color and mood. There will never be another like him.

Read previous installments of Inside The Shredder’s Studio:

#1: Elizabeth Schall of Dreaming Dead
#2: Mike Hill of Tombs
#3: Jon Levasseur of Cryptopsy
#4: Alex Bouks of Incantation

#5: Kurt Ballou of Converge
#6: Mark Thomas Baker of Orchid
#7: Andre Foisy of Locrian
#8: Eric Daniels of GSBC and Asphyx
#9: Kevin Hufnagel of Gorguts
#10: Marissa Martinez-Hoadley of Cretin

DAWN OF THE ‘BLACKHEARTS’ – IRANIAN BLACK METAL MASTERMIND SINA SPEAKS

By: Kim Kelly Posted in: exclusive, featured, interviews On: Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

sina

As we  mentioned in a recent interview with Norwegian filmmaker Christian Falch,  there’s an awfully interesting new documentary in production that more than a few of you might appreciate. ‘Blackhearts’ is slated for a September 2015 release, and follows three black metal fans & musicians from very dissimilar backgrounds as they chase their dreams and try to stay true to their ideals. I’ve only seen a short clip of the film, but judging by the director’s comments and the characters involved, it’ll be quite different from any of the other “black metal documentaries” floating around out there – or at the very least, a lot more interesting. One of the film’s subjects is a Tehran native named Sina, who prefers not to disclose his full name for fairly obvious reasons. His band From The Vastland is heavily inspired by classic Norwegian black metal, and the dude’s clearly done his homework: this shit is quality. Sina styles himself as “Iran’s only black metal musician,” though the Encyclopedia Metallum and bands like Aras, Halla, or the excellent Mogh may beg to differ; one assumes his error there is a result of a lack of cohesion within Iran’s metal scene, rather than hubris.

Both he and the film stress the dangers he faces as a black metal musician living in Iran, but as our interview below shows, the situation isn’t as cut’n'dry as one might think. Iran has strict laws regarding the writing, recording, and distribution of music as well as live performances, and as open as the people themselves may be to extreme metal, the powers that be seem less impressed. The government censors will only accept three genres (Iranian folk music, Iranian classical music and Iranian pop music) which doesn’t leave much room for a band like From The Vastland or any of Iran’s 46 other metal bands to make themselves heard . Five musicians were recently arrested for illegally producing and recording music alongside LA-based musicians and satellite channels, and less than ten years ago, 230 people were arrested for attending a “satanic rock concert.” It’s not an ideal environment for a Gorgoroth fan who’s looking to follow his dreams, and yet, Sina’s been making some serious moves. He’s working on a new album with some impressive new bandmates, and his band has been nominated for the Metal Hammer’s Golden Gods awards’ “Global Metal” category.

I got to meet Sina in Oslo at this year’s Inferno Metal Festival while he was there promoting the film with Falch. As people crowded around his slight, long-haired figure, he seemed a little overwhelmed, but very excited. He comes across as a sweet, earnest dude, and I was happy to have had a chance to chat with him a little about ‘Blackhearts,’ his band, and where he’s going next.

You are from Tehran, Iran, but are currently living in Norway, right? How did this happen?

Yes, actually I came here this time to record my new album and work on my music plan during my stay here (for example releasing the album, live concert and etc.). It is a long story but everything started after I started working with Christian Falch (I am one of the characters in his documentary) then I had the chance to work with professional Norwegian musicians and play at Inferno festival last year, released my album ‘Kamarikan’ on Indie Recordings and am now here again for a new adventure!

So, how did you first discover heavy metal? How did that path lead you to black metal?

I grew up in a family where my parents were fans of rock music so I was familiar with this kind of music, but when I was a teenager, one of my friends who lived in Austria came to Iran and brought me some music cassettes and for sure they were Heavy Metal music! Black Sabbath, Skid Row, Metallica. After some years then I was a serious fan of thrash/death metal music, and finally I listened to “Filosofem”, the first Black Metal album that I listened to, and everything changed then.

What is it about Norwegian black metal in particular that resonates with you so deeply?

We all know that black Metal started from Norway so, Norwegian bands are originators of Black Metal and the thing is that Norwegian BM specially the early 90′s works (old school stuff that still I am serious fan of) have special elements in their music. The atmosphere is really cold, dark, and mysterious, and also in other way close to the nature, something pure. That makes it special for me. But you know these days you can find so many good bands from all around the world. I really like the BM scene of some countries like Germany, France, Finland, and Sweden.

Your lyrics focus on Persian history and folklore instead of traditionally violent or Satanic topics. Was this a choice you made to avoid persecution at home, or a more natural desire of yours to explore your own interests?

Yes, actually all of my lyrics are about Persian history, myths, legends and etc. You know, we have lots of ancient texts, books and stories about battles between good and evil, light and darkness, god and the devil and etc, full of mysterious creatures and events. So, the environment of the stories is really proper for Black Metal and it is really inspirational for me when I read our ancient texts. I am really strict when I want to write my lyrics.

How do you reconcile your religion – or religious upbringing – with black metal’s anti-religious message?

Well, I am not religious, also my family, so, the atmosphere and environment of the home was not religious when I was a child. It is true that you can see many religious people in Iran and the environment of the country is religious in a way but I think at last it depends on you.

Last year, your band From the Vastland appeared at Inferno, and you have since enjoyed an uptick in international praise and attention. Is it surreal for you to experience that?

Yes, I remember that someday playing my music on stage was like a dream for me but now I have the experiences of playing a live concert at Inferno, releasing my album internationally, working with great musicians and other things. So many great things happened regarding to From The Vastland during last year and still happening: big attention, positive feedback, the Metal Hammer nomination and so many other things…it is unbelievable. I am really glad that my dreams are going to come true but still there is a long way to go. I always have big dreams in my mind and am working on my music day by day to achieve all of my goals. Working with great musicians, releasing the albums and doing live concerts are just parts of that. I want to be somewhere on top!

How did you first get into contact with the people at Inferno? What was your experience like last year?

Everything started during the filming of BlackHearts, then with help of Christian Falch and also our friends at Keep of Kalessin and Indie Recordings, we made that possible. Everything that happened during last year was something new, unique and great for me. New great experiences in a short time…and still it is fresh for me! You know, now I see how it is helpful for your music’s improvement when you are somewhere with a metal scene and have the chance to work with professional artists.

Tell me a little about how From the Vastland started. How did you go about writing your first songs and sharpening your musical skills?

From the Vastland started in autumn of 2010 after around 10 years of direct activities in Iran’s metal scene. Before From the Vastland I had another black metal band (which was called Sorg Innkallelse. and we have 10 albums released) but From the Vastland is very personal project for me. Everything about From the Vastland is related to my inner feelings, thoughts and interests. So, I started with recording my first album Darkness Versus the Light, the Perpetual Battle which was released by Arx productions in 2011, and after that Kamarikan (released by Indie Recordings). For writing a song, as a guitarist everything starts with a riff or melody for me, but for sure I have an idea how to expand it and make the atmosphere and I just go through my inner feelings to play guitar and write a song. At the same time I always try to be creative on music writing and improve my music skills, I don’t want to move just in a line.

Now you have been joined by several bandmates, and are recording a new album for Indie Recordings. Can you tell me about who you’re playing with, and how all of this came together?

When I came back home after the inferno and playing with Andre ( of 1349/Den Saakaldte), Vyl (Keep of Kalessin/Gorgoroth) and Destructhor (Morbid Angel/Myrkskog) last year, I started working on some new material ( that event was really inspirational for me) and after some months I had 7 songs ready to record, so, I sent them to Andre and Vyl. They liked the songs and January this year I came to Norway again, we went to the studio and now we have the new album ready!

Tell me about your involvement in Christian’s documentary. Were you nervous about appearing in this film and showing your face? Have you encountered any negative results since you became involved?

Everything started when Christian Falch contacted me and told me about his documentary film. for me it was really interesting when I saw that is kind of different film about black metal. So, we talked about everything then started. My family and friend are always supporting me, giving me positive energy and they are really helpful…I think it is a big chance that you can have supportive people around yourself. I was a little nervous for sure, because when you live in Iran and working in this kind of project you don’t know what will happen…

What would happen if From the Vastland played a gig in Tehran? Do you genuinely fear that the government would injure or arrest you if they became aware of your involvement with black metal? Surely you cannot be that afraid if you’ve got active social media pages and are in this film.

It is not possible to play a black metal gig in Iran because when you want to do a live concert you need to get a permit from the government, and for sure they don’t give you permit to play this kind of music. If you want to do it illegally, it makes a serious problem for you. The problem is that there is no specific laws about the metal music so, you don’t know what will happen and since there was some cases before, everything is possible…

What is Tehran’s heavy metal scene like? Are there other bands we should be paying attention to?

We have some other active metal bands in Iran, good bands with good music, however, most of them are thrash metal or death metal. The problem is since it is not possible for bands to release their albums officially or do live concerts, they don’t know each other. There are just some communities on the internet, and there is no big metal scene unfortunately. But, I am sure there is a big capability in Iran with metal bands if they can make it work…

What does black metal mean to you?

For me Black Metal is not just music. It is my passion and it is my lifestyle. It is always hard and complicated when you want to talk about your passion and things that are related to your feelings, but it is something that just comes from your deep inside. Everything is summarized in music for me…

What’s next for you, and for From the Vastland?

In this time I focus on my music and writing some new material. Allso since I have the new album ready, I am working to see how to release it at the right time, and we are working to have a live concert this year if it is possible.

The last words are yours, thanks Sina!

I just want to say thank you all people, fans, friends and my family…you always give me positive energy and motivation to continue my way. I am really thankful that I have your support and I will do my best to make good music.

VIDEO PREMIERE: Carnifex’s “Die Without Hope”

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: exclusive, featured, videos On: Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

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Do you like slow motion? How about fire? Then boy, do we have a video for you. The video for the title track of the latest album from up-and-coming deathcore act Carnifex features more slow-mo and flames than a Michael Bay movie, plus sweet riffs and knuckle-cracking breakdowns on the musical side. You might not want to watch this at work – it may inspire you to mosh through your cubicle wall and into your neighboring wage slave, and he probably wouldn’t appreciate that.

 

 

***Die without Hope is out now on Nuclear Blast. Follow Carnifex on Facebook here, check out their label page here, and order the album here.

STREAMING: Vallenfyre “Splinters”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

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“[Splinters] is taking everything from The Fragile King and pushed it to the extremes in every direction,” says Vallenfyre’s Gregor Mackintosh. “There are songs that are more doom oriented, like funeral doom. There are really fast songs, too. We had paid homage to our influences on the last record. This one has a lot of different stuff on it. There’s no point to making another The Fragile King. We want to create a sound that doesn’t exist.”

Fans of dirty, dingy Swed-death will surely pick up on the reverse influences as well as the inherent early Paradise Lost-isms on Splinters however, but kudos to Mackintosh for thinking outside the box a bit. Produced by Converge studio wiz-kid Kurt Ballou, Splinters is heavy, dense, violent, yet despondent and reflective. In fact, it’s the very kind of record Mackintosh made when he was a young one, only this time he’s older, more experienced, and full of the world pissing down on him. Or maybe that’s ale–his new favorite beverage–raining in torrents upon the six-stringer cum vocalist.

Well, before we tout our own horns–two of them, actually–and tell you Vallenfyre committed an unreleased song (from the Splinters sessions) to our celebrated Flexi Series called “The Great Divide”, maybe it’s time to jam some new Vallenfyre. Yes, the entire album! Let’s drown in odious bliss!

NOTE: the Soundcloud player has a scrollbar. Hidden, of course.

** Vallenfyre’s new album, Splinters, is out May 13th on Century Media Records. Killer product combos are available HERE. Click the link or else we’ll send you 100 copies of Ace of Base’s The Sign. Don’t tempt us.

VIDEO PREMIERE: Kataklysm’s “The American Way”

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: exclusive, featured, videos On: Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

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Who would’ve thought that, 24 years after it was first released, Sacred Reich’s classic thrash tune about the dissolution of the American dream would still be just as (if not even more) relevant? Cynical people, certainly, and also Canadian death metal evergreens Kataklysm. They included a cover of said song on the special edition of last year’s Waiting for the End to Come, and apparently they were pretty happy with it, because they went ahead and shot a video. We have the exclusive premiere for you. If you are into burly Canadians and apocalyptic imagery, you’ll be thanking us in four minutes. If not, watch it anyway.

 

 

***Waiting for the End to Come is out now courtesy of Nuclear Blast. Follow Kataklysm on Facebook here, check out their label page here, and order the album here.

DAWN OF THE ‘BLACKHEARTS’ – AN INTERVIEW WITH FILMMAKER CHRISTIAN FALCH

By: Kim Kelly Posted in: exclusive, featured, interviews On: Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

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Last month at the 2014 Inferno Music Conference (which runs concurrently to the much louder Inferno Metal Festival), I was lucky enough to squeeze into a short presentation led by filmmaker Christian Falch. He was there to introduce his latest project, and from the looks of things, it’ll be a doozy. ‘Blackhearts’ follows three black metal fans from very different backgrounds, and as Falch says, “the basic idea for the film is to understand more about the strong impact that black metal music has on different people all around the world.”

During the course of the still-in-production film, he engages with a Colombian Satanist, a Greek neo-Nazi, and an Iranian black metal musician named Sina (look for an interview with him later this week!). Take a look at a teaser for the film here, and check out an in-depth interview with Falch below. ‘Blackhearts’ is tentatively slated for a September 2015 release, so mark those calendars.

Hey Christian, please tell me a little about the idea behind Blackhearts. When did you begin filming, and when do you anticipate that you will be finished?

- In short, the basic idea for the film is to understand more about the strong impact that black metal music have on different people all around the world. We all know that this genre is popular in places far away from Norway and Scandinavia, but we don´t know much about how it affects people that live in different cultures. What is it like to be a black metal fan in a strictly Islamic country or in a Latin American village where 99% of the population is Catholic? I find this really interesting because black metal promotes values that differs so much from everything else. In Norway, no one cares if you have a pentagram tattooed on your forehead, but what does these symbols represent in a religious society without any common knowledge about black metal? In addition to this, we also want to find out what makes this music so attractive and why so many people make life changing decisions based on their passion for black metal.

We began filming approximately two years ago and since then we have spent many weeks with our characters, getting to know them and following up their stories in countries like Colombia, Iran, Greece, Turkey and of course in Norway. We have still a lot of work to do before the film is finished though. This work mostly involves applying for additional funding, doing pre-sales to TV-stations, hooking up with distributors, festivals and sales agents. This is time consuming work, but things are looking really good at the moment. According to our progress plan, the film will premiere around September 2015. There is no guarantees in this business of making documentary movies, but the interest has been overwhelming so far. I just hope it results in us actually getting the finances in place in order to finish the film and ending up with a high quality documentary movie with worldwide distribution.

What are you aiming to say with this movie?

 At this stage of the process, the film is very complex with many different layers. Because of this it is pretty hard for me to point out one main message, but for sure we want people to reflect upon the impact of music and art in general, with black metal as one example. Where do one draw the line between arts and real life? What is an illusion and what is real? How does different societies interpret a work of art based on the current religious, political and cultural circumstances? The answer to these questions will be up to the individual viewer to come up with, but for sure we have our own opinions on it. In my opinion, black metal is art and should be interpreted as that. Nothing more.

Do you think that black metal is still dangerous?

Not at all. The music is really not dangerous at all, it is just an art form just like every other genre out there. It only becomes dangerous if people interpret it as more than it really is. For example in Iran where people see it as everything else than just music. Or in Catholic/Christian countries where many people automatically link it to Satanism and stuff like that. Of course, the lyrics and topics that is typical for black metal are in theory far from harmless, but as we know, most fans and artists don´t actually practice as they preach – thankfully! Therefore I consider black metal to be just an amazingly fascinating music genre with top notch musicians and stage performances that cannot be found elsewhere. Black metal only becomes dangerous when people forget the fact that it is all about music and stage performances.

How did you find your subjects? Please tell us a little about the three men you chose. And, why no women?

We were fortunate enough to receive funding from the Norwegian Film Institute for doing research for this film. Because of this we could spend about one year looking for the right characters for the film before we started shooting. Finding the right protagonists is really the essence of making a good documentary movie so we put a lot of efforts into this. By the help of my friends and network all around the world (and of course Google), we came across dozens of interesting people from all corners of the world. It was a hard process to narrow it down to three people. First of all they were chosen for their very different backgrounds and stories. With these characters we will show many of the different aspects of the global impact of Norwegian black metal. We started off with doing email interviews, Skype and all that kind of things just to get a feeling of who these people were and what we could expect to catch on camera. Then we had to meet them in person, do some filming and get to know each other to ensure the fact that they were comfortable with having us around and share their life and stories with us. Based on this research material, we decided to go on and include them as main characters in BLACKHEARTS.

In Iran, we came across this amazing guy called Sina. Let me tell you, he has become my new hero. Getting to know him has given me a valuable perspective on life in general. The thing is that black metal is really not popular with the Iranian government. He is running a big risk in doing what he is doing with his music and on top of that he has been doing it for years. His passion for black metal is stronger than his fear of the authorities. In the film, we follow Sina in his everyday life in Tehran and get to meet his family and friends. One day his life gets turned upside down because of an invitation to play at the Inferno Festival in Oslo. Sina grasps this life long dream and goes to Norway. His backing band consists of great musicians like Tjalve ( 1349 / Den Saakaldte / Pantheon I ), Destruchtor ( Myrkskog / Morbid Angel ) and Vyl ( Keep of Kalessin / Gorgoroth ). The big question is – what happens after his concert in Norway and how will the Iranian government react?

As many metal bands and fans know, Latin America is the place to go to find passionate metal heads. Before starting this project I have been to Colombia many times and attended shows with for example Gorgoroth in Bogotá. The impression the audience had on me was something I wanted to include in the film, so looking for a character in Colombia was an obvious decision back then and let me tell you – I have not regretted it for one second. Through my contacts I came across Hector, the lead singer and vocalist of the band Luciferian. He was more than willing to share everything with us; no limits when it comes to interrupting his private life with our cameras or sharing his pretty peculiar thoughts with us. The thing is that Hector is a Satanist. Not the kind that just sings about it you know, but a Satanist that attends rituals, black masses and goes to Satanic priests for spiritual guidance. His 14 year old son is also following the path of his father and this makes him a very interesting character because Colombia is as we know a very religious country. Let me tell you, being a hardcore Satanist there is not always easy! As with Sina, Hector and the rest of the guys also end up playing the concert of a lifetime in Norway, but getting here was no easy deal at all because of the visa restrictions. What Hector did to make sure he got the visa is just astonishing….looking forward to see that scene in the finished film!

The third character is Giorgios Germenis, commonly known as Kaiadas from the Greek black metal band Naer Mataron. What makes him unique is not only his extremely detailed knowledge about Norwegian black metal and his artistic skills, but the fact that he is also a member of the Greek parliament as a representative for the party Golden Dawn. As far as I know, he is the only MP in the world that is also a black metal musician – a very interesting combination. We want to find out if there is any connection between his love for black metal and the politics he is promoting. This is a difficult question to answer because as with many devoted black metal fans, the passion for the music becomes a way of life and in the end it is not easy to know what was the inspiration in the first place. But as Kaiadas told us, many Naer Mataron fans voted for Golden Dawn because of him. I must say that I find Kaiadas very interesting because of several different things, not only because he is a politician. He offers the BLACKHEARTS audience a new insight into the impact and passion of black metal.

So, this was a short introduction to our three main protagonists, but several other people will appear in the film as well, this includes Norwegian black metal musicians and people that plays a part of the foreign characters lives. From an early stage we did our best for finding female characters too, but unfortunately we did not succeed with this even though I know for sure that there is thousands of women out there that could easily fit in this setting. On the other hand, through our main protagonists, we will meet their girlfriends, mothers and so on as well and hopefully this will help maintain a certain balance.

You mentioned that you were worried that the inclusion of Germenis would cause problems for the film, either in the press or with the actual release. What is your plan here? Has anyone raised objections so far?

The main worry for me, as a producer, is that some broadcasters or institutions that help out with documentary funding would find this participation a bit too problematic or controversial because of their wish to be politically correct. When it comes to the film itself, I am convinced that this will be an important, exciting and unique way to potray part of the black metal universe in all its shapes and sizes. As a documentary maker, our mission is not to please everyone out there, but to give the audience new perspectives and a glimpse into the life and reality of people that are not necessarily equal to themselves. The director, Fredrik Horn Akselsen and I did a documentary called “The Exorcist in the 21st Century” a couple of years ago. We followed an exorcist from the Vatican around, and for sure there is a lot of people that does not share his opinions on things, but our audience still found it really fascinating. So it is truly possible to make films with characters that is not politically correct. Our plan with Kaiadas is to get to know him as a person, as a black metal artist and as a politician and to find out how all of these things add up in his life. We have no political agenda with including him in this film. Even if he was a MP for the Communist party it would still make him interesting for us. We have not encountered any specific objections to his appearance yet, on the other hand people find it fascinating and also kind of brave of us to include him. I don´t think it is brave at all. We are just documentary makers wanting to tell interesting stories about interesting people. That´s basically it. Time will tell if this will give us any trouble or not, but I really hope and think that this won´t happen.

What was it like immersing yourself within this politically far right  group? What kinds of reasons did they give for their involvement with their chosen political scene? The Golden Dawn is pretty universally loathed by anyone who, you know, isn’t down with fascism.

To tell you the truth, it was not dramatic at all. It´s really not like going into the wolf’s lair or something. On the other hand, the people we have met in Greece have been really nice, helpful and friendly. My main drive to continue as a documentary maker is to get to know new people, to go to different places and to get new experiences. I´m really happy for the fact that I have gotten the chance to learn more about this Greek scene and some of the people in it. You know, when I´m down there we speak mostly about music and I don´t have any interest in emerging myself in political debates with them, just as I did not debate theology with the Vatican exorcist. I´m just curious about their view, their reality and their perspective on things. I listen and I ask questions. Rarely do I start a political debate on intention. Behind all the dramatic headlines in the newspaper and the official party politics we find real people with surprisingly normal lives. It’s hard for me to go in detail when it comes to the reasons for their political involvement since this is very individual. But I feel pretty certain that when it comes to the link with black metal, the awareness of the national history and mythology, national pride and roots plays an important part. This does not mean that black metal in general is political in any way, but some people can choose to see it like that if they want. Again, I’m no expert on this, but I think most people that are involved with Golden Dawn got engaged because of the way the government dealt with the hard hitting financial crisis in Greece. Many people in Greece felt that the only way to save the country was with pretty extreme and different measures. Our character Kaiadas was one of them.

Were you ever uncomfortable or afraid during the filming of these scenes? It seems as though some of the situations you encountered were very intense.

 During the shooting of this film so far we have encountered many intense moments and situations, but I have never been afraid. I rarely do. The thing is that we are so focused on doing our job that we don’t get the chance to think too much about the surroundings. When we are out shooting for BLACKHEARTS, I feel as if I am among friends. We also talk things through with the team and the protagonists before doing anything so things are pretty planned out. In Colombia we often hire armed security guards to watch our backs too. As I said, I love to find myself in weird places and situations and it rarely gets uncomfortable for my part. Actually, I am actively looking for intense situations – that´s how to make a good film!

What other roadblocks have you faced during the filming of the documentary?

 Too many to mention! I don’t even know where to start….the first obvious roadblock was to get high quality footage in Iran without ending up in jail. Everyone told me it was impossible, but we were fortunate enough to find a solution to it. Then comes all the language barriers we encountered, but that worked out fine in the end too. The most obvious obstacle, and that goes for every documentary maker out there, is to find the money and partners that enables you to make a high quality film. It is difficult to find the right balance between your ambitions and your budget. It is a never-ending struggle. A very personal challenge for me has been the situation with Sina as well. He has become a close friend of mine and I feel obligated to do whatever is in my power to keep him safe. I think about this night and day.

The project is partly funded by the Norwegian arts council, or the government – something like that, right? How did you go about presenting your case for receiving funding?

At this point of production we have received funding from 6 different institutions in Norway, including The Norwegian Film Institute, The Freedom of Expression Foundation, Midtnorsk Filmsenter and several others. We have produced a few documentaries before so they know we spend our money wisely and deliver a good film in the end. As for every film, we have to go through a pretty time consuming process of applying and competing with every other project out there. This means a lot of paper work, long discussions on how to present the film, budgets, plans and all of that. We mainly presented this film as a unique insight to interesting characters from more or less exotic places that can offer the viewer strong, personal stories that develops as we make the film. I explained about the message we want to bring to the table with this film and combined with the stories of the characters, this is what made the investors trust us with significant funding so far. We are now about to start working on the international funding for the film in order to obtain what we need to finish the documentary and get it out there for people to see.

How did meeting these three individuals affect the way you view the music and the scene you’re used to as a Norwegian black metal fan? Have your views on the genre changed?

Back in 2006, I was on tour with Keep of Kalessin and Satyricon for five weeks, making another film. This trip gave me insight to all the different people you can find in the international black metal scene. On top of this comes the fact that I have been traveling a lot too, always careful to catch a gig and meet other black metal fans. Because of this background, I have not been truly surprised of what I have learned through the experience of making BLACKHEARTS, but one can say that I have gotten a better understanding of how passionate people are and how much black metal actually means to a lot of people. I have also learned how much the Norwegian scene has changed during the last 15 – 20 years, it has gone through an amazing change. This of course is the scene I have dwelled in for as long as I have been a fan of this music so for me it is truly fascinating to see how the music is interpreted in other countries. My view on black metal have not changed at all. It is still just fucking great music performed by some of the best musicians out there. Nothing more.

Why do you think black metal in particular resonates so deeply with such disparate groups of of people?

First of all I would like to think it is because of the music, it is really like nothing else out there. But of course the mythology that took shape in the early 90´s plays an important part too. For many fans, including me, all these criminal acts, church burnings and so on was the reason for wanting to listen to the music in the first place. When it comes to Norwegian black metal in particular, I guess some people find this pretty exotic as well, just because of the remoteness of this little, weird Scandinavian county. Then comes all the different factors like the feeling of rebellion, anti-religion, hatred and maybe even politics. Combined with the music itself, this creates a full package that some people can relate very strongly to. Many black metal fans see it as more than just music, it is a way of life – and they interpret it according to the society they find themselves in. This is exactly what BLACKHEARTS is trying to understand and explain.

What were a few of the most compelling moments you captured on film for Blackhearts?

Too many to mention! BLACKHEARTS will be full of interesting, crazy and funny moments on top of everything else. But I have to say that a personal favorite experience of mine was the full scale Satanic ritual in Colombia. Keywords are flames ( lots of them ), Satanic priests, naked women, pentagrams, human bones – you name it! The ritual went on for several hours and it was really epic. Another very interesting moment was when Sina from Iran met Nocturno Culto in Norway. You have to wait for the film to get the details, but it was interesting to listen to what those two guys had to say to each other.

Any parting words?

I would like to point out, before every black metal internet troll out there starts commenting on it – this documentary is really nothing like all the other black metal films out there. First of all, we don´t deal with the past and the events of the early 90´s at all. Secondly, this is a documentary movie where the fans is not the main target. In fact, we are producing this film for a wide, international audience. Our ambition is to screen the film on the main European broadcasters, international festivals and such before releasing for streaming and downloading. So obviously, our main challenge is to come up with a film that deals with black metal in all its shapes and sizes and on top of it turn it into an intriguing experience for anyone that happens to see it in the end. As a personal little treat, I could also mention that one of my personal musical heroes, Snorre Ruch, have composed some special stuff for the film score to spice everything up a bit!